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redirect-to - porn spam! vB3
by GrantHorizons
29 Dec 2021 06:30

Somewhere, somehow, there are over 100 "redirect-to" porn spam links on my site (500,000+ posts). We moderate carefully, but obviously don't see everything.

To clarify - somewhere - I believe - there is an innocuous word that is a link, and vB3 automatically makes a "redirect-to" link of it. Times 100 or so...

So, I clearly need to find them! However, google search - that I use for search - only finds the redirect - but doesn't show me what page the link is ON. Forum search finds nothing at all.

Anyone have any ideas how to find them?
Note that MySQL is not my forte. :(

Thanks for any ideas, and I hope everyone had a great Christmas, and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2022!

z3r0 29 Dec 2021 10:42

1 Attachment(s)
I'm pretty sure "redirect-to" is part of dbseo's features for external links and it causes loads of search engine spam links from your site, in the newer versions you can turn it off.

here is the setting
Attachment 158907

GrantHorizons 29 Dec 2021 17:12

Thanks, good to know!
Still have to find the links, delete and ban the scumbag user.

--------------- Added 30 Dec 2021 at 05:28 ---------------

If anyone has an idea on how to find a "hidden" link, please enlighten me! :)
The link could be any word in the forum, linked to porn. :eek:

z3r0 30 Dec 2021 08:13

The links may not even be on your site, I've just looked back on my ticket to dbseo on the issue back in 2016 and the "redirect-to" system creates an open redirect from any site it's enabled on - I did report it back then but they didn't do anything about it.

links like the following could be listed anywhere on the net and get indexed as from your site.

Block Disabled:      (Update License Status)  
Suspended or Unlicensed Members Cannot View Code.

You need to disable the feature and block /redirect-to/ in your htaccess and add a disallow in your robots.txt

GrantHorizons 31 Dec 2021 01:50

That's... terrifying. :mad:

Thank you! Turned off. And done!

Help much appreciated, have a great 2022!.

z3r0 31 Dec 2021 08:18

I've just checked your site and the links in Google and I think I would do more, all the porn links now resolve to an "Invalid Forum specified" page on your site, if that was mine I wouldn't like that and I'd go for a hard 404 via htaccess.

I use Windows servers and know nothing about apache and htaccess, but I've found a thread at dragonbyte where somebody shows how to do it - https://www.dragonbyte-tech.com/thre...l-links.24453/

Also I'd look at the Google webmaster Tools removals tool and see if I could de-index them - https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/9689846

GrantHorizons 31 Dec 2021 22:39

Excellent info, thanks a BUNCH!
And I agree, didn't like the error, but only got so far with it. On it again today! :)
thanks again

--------------- Added 31 Dec 21 at 23:03 ---------------

Removed the /redirect-to from google, it's "processing", and tried the dragonbytes code suggestion, no change.

RedirectMatch 404 ^/redirect-to/.*$

Tried in a couple of different positions in my htaccess and no change. Came to the conclusion that I actually don't care - if someone clicks one of those, that's ok - it is essentially a 404. :)

GrantHorizons 24 Jan 2022 05:53

FYI for those with the same issue:
All looking good now, google has cleaned up and no problems visible anywhere. :)
Kudos to @z3r0!

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